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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am doing a project for a class about miscommunications between cultures. I need examples of things that can make Chinese people angry, but seem normal to westerners.
 

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Only seen this in Northern Chinese, but opening gifts that a Chinese person just gave to you in front of them. I think Chinese like to open the gifts in their own time, you're supposed to put the gift to one side and open it when you're by yourself.

Obvious contradiction to American/British customs when you're expected to open the gift in front of the person who just gave it to you, putting it to one side shows that you do not care.

There is many, I will think of them when they come to me.
 

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DOHC this looks like an "Off Topic" but it's a good one. Good luck with your project...

Here are a few guidelines for avoiding the ire of Chinese folks. I hope some others can add to it. Your professor is right; just a little sensitivity about these kind of things can go a long way in making this a more friendly world to live in.


1. Chinese are very conscious of losing face. So always try to make the other person look good in front of others.

2. Don't show up without a business card.
3. Do treat business cards received from another with respect. Don't bend or write on them.
4. Generally don't call people by their first name. Use titles when possible, e.g. Laoshi (Teacher) , or a family name followed by title, e.g. Li Tai Tai (Mrs. Li) or Li Gong (Engineer Li). (An exception is when someone asks you to call them by an English name they have made up.)

5. Recognize the seniority and rank of older people in a group. Don't defer to younger people at the expense of elders.
6. When in a restaurant with a group, don't take the seat that is furthest from the entrance door, and that faces that door. Leave that to the highest ranking (or eldest) person.
7. Don't pat people on the back or children on the head. In fact avoid body contact outside of a handshake (if a handshake is offered).
8. Don't point with your index finger. If you need to point, point with your hand.
9. Don't use the index finger to beckon someone. Instead with palm down, use a waving motion of the extended fingers.
10. Never beckon by snapping fingers.
11. Don't whistle. It's considered rude.
12. Don't blow your nose during a meal. And anytime avoid blowing your nose with a handkerchief and then returning it to your pocket. Use tissues and throw them away.

13. As CCT says, don't open a gift when you receive it, but when you are giving it, use both hands. If you use one hand to present something make sure it’s the right hand.

14. Don't show up empty handed when invited somewhere. But gifts of appreciation needn't be extravagant.
15. It's OK to give one gift to a group, but don't give to one person and neglect another.
16. Wrap that gift in a lucky color like red. Avoid white or black since they are reminders of death.
17. Avoid the number four or things in sets of four. It's a reminder of death.
18. Don't give someone a green hat or scarf. It means someone in that wearer's family is an adulterer. This may also be why I can't remember seeing a green car in China.
 

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Dragin, good work. Ive been here so long I cant remember what offends and what doesnt. I think the manners I brought with me from the west were rather offensive or strange, like:

* Blowing my nose and sticking the tissue in my pocket, for 'later use'
* Putting my bag on the floor, someone picking it up and sticking it behind me on the chair (not on the back of the chair) while im sitting on the chair, me putting it back onto the floor, and they putting it back on the chair. Bit of a Laurel and Hardy sketch for a while, but now I never leave my bag or anything on the floor.
* Walking into houses without removing my shoes - I guess the European belief of the outside being just as clean as the inside of a house doesnt pass over to Asia very well.
* When I am tired and not really in the mood for talking the Chinese around me take this as me being angry. I guess its always good to keep an air of bouncy happiness about you when in China, so nobody thinks your angry for no reason.

More as I think of them.

dragin said:
17. Avoid the number four or things in sets of four. It's a reminder of death.
Yes - This is why Duracell only sell batteries in packs of 5 in China, there is hardly any packs of four things in china, also 90% of the time there is no 4th floor in buildings, its either 3b or jumps straight to 5.
 

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Where can I see pictures of Chinese cars from the 1950s and 1960s?
Can someone please identify this car
http : // xs414.xs.to/xs414/07166/Whatcar.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great first post there, lol.
 

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Man you got a lot here and I didn't read them all. The one that still gets me is that Westerners drop a lot of hints before they actually have a plan to leave, end a dinner, etc. The Chinese just up and go...so if the Western party are just warming to the idea of leaving sometime in the future and say something about that, the Chinese can think that they want to go RIGHT NOW!
 

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One more...to talk about death. It happens to all of us, ya' know, but there is almost always a giggle or a flush when a Westerner talks about it so openly.
 
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